Runway Group Co-Founder Tom Walton to be New CEO

Chris Seay to Retire as CEO at End of March

Runway Group Chief Executive Officer Chris Seay will retire as CEO effective at the end of March, the company has announced. Runway co-founder Tom Walton will step into the role as CEO.

Seay has served as CEO since October of 2021, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the holding company, which makes investments in real estate, outdoor initiatives, hospitality and other businesses.

“I’d like to thank Chris for his commitment to our organization in getting Runway’s oriented for success,” Walton said. “We are positioned well for the future, and we wouldn’t be here today without his leadership.”

In an internal announcement Monday, Seay shared the following message: 

“The time has come to step away from my role as Runway CEO. Today, I am announcing my retirement effective in late March. The past few years have been a wonderful experience and I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to help build, shape, and elevate Runway. And it has been a privilege to help guide investments in the people and the places to help make Northwest Arkansas an extraordinary region to live, work and play. Most importantly, it has been an honor to work with each of you. I am proud of our work together and who we, as a company, have become. I am deeply grateful that you chose to share a part of your lives with me – thank you.”

Other leadership roles within the company have also been announced. Krista Cupp will lead Runway’s Community Impact team as Chief Community Officer. Cupp helms a newly created platform designed to make community investments in Bentonville and its adjacent communities. She joins Runway’s operating-business leaders including Blue Crane CEO Jared Faciszewski; recently hired Thaden Field GM Kelly Deeds; and Ropeswing Hospitality President Emanuel Gardinier as Runway’s external-facing leaders.

“I’m excited to serve as CEO and energized by our possibilities,” Walton said. “With the continuity of a talented and trusted senior leadership team, I know we are just getting started.”

Chris Seay Bio: 

Chris Seay has served as CEO of the Runway Group since October 2021. Prior to his current role, he served as Runway’s COO.

Chris began his career as an attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana. Reorienting from law to business, Chris joined Wal-Mart Stores’ international accounting & finance team and worked with its foreign affiliates in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and China and, later, as advisor to and acting CFO of Wal-Mart’s retail venture in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he and his wife, Kim, lived. Following his time at Walmart, Chris co-founded and was principal of the SEAYCO Group, a Bentonville, Arkansas-based real estate development company that specialized in the development of commercial shopping centers throughout the United States.

Chris and Kim share a hobby farm with an unruly assortment of dogs, cats, sheep and goats in Bentonville. They enjoy the beauty, the people and the hilly, woodsy and watery places of OZ.

Tom Walton Bio:

Tom Walton is the co-founder of Runway Group, a Bentonville, Arkansas-based holding company committed to making Arkansas the best version of itself. Runway investments include real estate, outdoor initiatives, hospitality and aviation. He is also Chairman of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Program. In 2023, he was appointed to the Natural State Advisory Board. As part of the Natural State Initiative, the board was created to further establish Arkansas as a leader in the outdoor economy and a destination for outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.

Born and raised in Bentonville, Tom spends his time giving back through regional investments and philanthropy. Through Runway, personal support, and the Walton Family Foundation’s Home Region Program, Tom plays an important role in revitalizing Northwest Arkansas’ downtown areas with a desire to create collaborative spaces for the region’s growing population.

Tom is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and resides in Bentonville with his wife, Olivia, and their children.

About Runway Group

Runway is a holding company founded in 2017 making investments in real estate, outdoor initiatives, hospitality and businesses. Steuart Walton and Tom Walton grew up in Bentonville and believe that active, better-connected communities build a more vibrant, joyful place to live and work.

 

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